TE33A Trident locomotives manufactured by the General Electric company (United States) have begun test operation on the Kovel – Izov – Polish border section of the Lviv Railway.

The Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (JSC Ukrzaliznytsia) announced the in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

According to Ukrzaliznytsia, single-section diesel locomotives manufactured by General Electric are being used on this railway section instead of the old 2ТЕ116 dual-section diesel locomotives.

"The General Electric locomotives have performed decently on this railway section. For example, three GE locomotives are needed to pull 10 pairs of trains on this section, compared with five 2TE116 diesel locomotives. In addition, according to our estimates, operation of these locomotives in the Kovel – Izov – Kovel railway section will allow us to save about UAH 35 million per year. UAH 18.6 million as a result of savings on diesel-fuel and UAH 9.8 million as a result of savings on maintenance costs,” Ukrzaliznytsia’s Board Chairman Yevhen Kravtsov said.

According to him, this railway section is a strategically important part of the transport corridor between Ukraine and the EU, through which both export and transit goods pass. Ukrzaliznytsia is only just planning to electrify this railway section. Until it is electrified, the company is hoping that the new American-made diesel locomotives will be able to ensure high transportation efficiency in the absence of electric traction.

Ukrzaliznytsia noted that its regional divisions Prydniprovska Railway, Donetsk Railway, and Odesa Railway began operating diesel locomotives manufactured by General Electric in March this year, using them to transport goods to industrial enterprises, the Mariupol port, and Black Sea ports. The Trident diesel locomotives are also used for transportation in the Zaporizhia – Kamysh-Zoria – Volnovakha and the Dolynska – Mykolaiv railway sections.

According to the company, the ТE33АС diesel locomotives are adapted to the climatic conditions in the 1520-gauge area, and they are environmentally friendly, reliable, cheaper to maintain, and comfortable for locomotive crews. Compared with the 2TE10 and 2TE116 diesel locomotives, harmful emissions are lower by more than 40%. The ТE33АС diesel locomotives are new-generation freight diesel locomotives with asynchronous traction motors with a gross horsepower of 3,356 KW (4,500 HP) and a maximum speed of 120 km/h. In addition, they are equipped with modern traffic safety and radio communications systems and automatic fire detection and fire suppression systems. The time between overhaul is also long.

According to Ukrzaliznytsia, the capacity of the Kovel – Izov –Polish railway section is expected to double after completion of electrification of about 100 kilometers of tracks.